Local cities want to test Google project

WOODLANDS, TX Just thinking about the possibility is exciting for William Pham, the IT director for the Woodlands Township.

He said, "For a geek like me, I would move here for it."

Pham is in charge of applying to be one of the communities chosen as part of Google's ultra high speed internet test.

"We've already got the majority of the network in place. The fiber's already in place in the ground. We just need the final connection point," Pham said. "They're not going to have to come in here and start digging a lot of dirt from scratch. That saves them a lot of money because that investment has already been made."

And so, Pham says, the Woodlands is the perfect place for Google to install its experimental fiber optic network that would boost internet speeds astronomically.

"In the selected locations we'll offer internet access at up to 100 times faster than many Americans have access to today and at competitive prices," explained Google Product Manager James Kelly. "We want to get started as quickly as possible and we need to find the right community partners for it to succeed."

Google won't say which or even how many cities are interested in being part of its test project. However, we do know from various reports that the Woodlands has a lot of competition. The Woodlands is competing with Sugar Land and Shenandoah locally and other cities all over the country. Google won't say how many places it will choose, but the total number of people to get the new service will number between 50,000 and 500,000.

Google tells me an actual start date is not on the drawing board yet, but for Pham, it couldn't come fast enough.

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